A church in Newport has been the subject of a major fire. The church fire spread from an adjoining derelict nightclub on Friday 15th June.
Fire services from across Cardiff and Newport including 10 fire engines and the use of an aerial platform, were deployed to fight the nightclub and church fire. The fire was successfully quelled by late afternoon this Saturday passed. Crews, however, remained observant of both sites, late into the evening, to ensure any subsequent flare-ups were not a risk.
The Bethel Community Church was grade 2 listed and 130-years-old. The huge fire burned the church to the ground, leaving only its four walls.
As a result, locals who ordinarily gathered at the church for religious worship, resorted to a service which was led in a nearby car park.
Pastor Andrew Cleverly, who held the car park service in a bid to “stand up and be strong” in resilience to the unfortunate fire also praised:
“Our building may be gone, but the church is alive.”
Further witnesses and local residents were extremely distressed by the event which left the church in ruins.
Cleverly described it as:
“A traumatic scene
“It was very sad – a lot of people were upset, holding hands and crying
“there was absolutely nothing you could do”.
Thankfully, nobody is known to have been injured as a result of the church fire. Although, 40 residents who lived in close vicinity to the fire were evacuated. The majority of tenants have now been allowed back into their properties. However, occupants residing in the properties either side of the church and nightclub, have been relocated into temporary accommodation.
Concerns over the fire safety of the abandoned nightclub had been reported to the city council just a week before the fire.
An email, submitted to the local council by a Mr Enea, emphasised prior concerns to the fire safety of the nightclub. He highlighted that not only that there were a number of squatters living within the nightclub, but also that the structural integrity of the building was questionable.
The email explicit said:
“Could the planning department inspect the building as I fear this could collapse or end up going up in flames. The building is clearly not safe and secure [and it’s a very big building].”
Subsequent to the Nightclub and Church fire Mr Enea commented:
“It could have been prevented,” “Everybody is devastated.”
A male, 43 and a female, 36 have subsequently been arrested on suspicion of arson following the nightclub and church fire.
A video of the blaze, showing the devastation the church and nightclub have encountered can be seen below:
How the fire was caused exactly, is still being examined and cordons have been put in place whilst investigations are underway.
It’s never too early to act when it comes to fire safety. If you need fire protection when it comes to your Church or Nightclub, do not hesitate to get in touch! Call us on 0845 402 3045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, before it’s too late.
Original Sources: BBC News | South Wales Argus